Naspers said on Wednesday that it has appointed Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa as CEO of its South Africa business. It’s a newly created executive position, and Mahanyele-Dabengwa will report directly to CEO Bob van Dijk.
Her responsibilities will include leadership of Naspers’s flagship South African units, Naspers Foundry and Naspers Labs. She will be based in Johannesburg.
Mahanyele-Dabengwa was previously executive chair at Sigma Capital, a privately held, majority black-owned investment group. “Her significant investor and board experience across varied sectors makes Phuthi the perfect match for this important role at Naspers,” Van Dijk said in a statement.
The appointment comes as Naspers prepares to list its international consumer Internet assets, including its 31.2% stake in Chinese online behemoth Tencent, in Amsterdam, with a secondary inward listing in Johannesburg. The new company, called Prosus, is expected to attract a valuation north of $100 billion.
Earlier, Naspers announced the creation of Naspers Foundry, a R1.4 billion start-up funding initiative aimed at investing in South Africa’s technology sector. It recently announced its first investment, a R30 million backing of SweepSouth, the online cleaning services platform.
Naspers Labs, meanwhile, is the pilot of a social impact initiative that Naspers has designed in partnership with Marlon Parker, the founder of RLabs, to develop the skills and talent of South Africa’s unemployed youth.
Naspers has committed R50 million to the pilot in 2019, on top of R15 million invested in 2018, and four pilot labs will be up and running by the end of the financial year.
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